MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 08/05/12
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 | 00:23
DJ30 PointChange: -76.44 Level: 12932.09 NASDAQ PointChange: -11.49 Level: 2946.27 NQ100 PercentChange: -0.4 R2K PercentChange: -0.1 SP400 PercentChange: -0.2 SP500 PointChange: -5.86 Level: 1363.72 NASDAQ-Adv:1205 Dec: 1313 NYSE-Adv:1188 Dec: 1800
[BRIEFING.COM] A wave of widespread weakness sank the stock market more than 1% to its lowest level in two months, but a steady climb in afternoon trade helped stocks slash losses.
Amid a lack of meaningful earnings announcements and a complete absence of domestic data, most market participants opted to sell stocks at the open due to lingering concerns about the implications of recent political elections in Europe -- Europe's major bourses settled their latest session with steep losses, dropping the EuroStoxx by 1.5%.
Domestic averages attempted to stabilize after enduring an opening leg down, but selling regained traction to take the S&P 500 below the 1350 line for the first time snce early March. A failed rebound attempt left stocks to drift lower again, but their ability to stay off of session lows suggested was enough support to prevent further losses. From there stocks began a steady ascent that saw the Dow recover more than 100 points.
Energy stocks staged one of the more impressive swings. The sector was down more than 2% at its session low, but settled the day down only 0.4%. Meanwhile, crude oil recovered from a session low of $95.57 per barrel to settle pit trade at $97.13 per barrel for a 0.8% loss. Despite the upturn, the closing price stands as the lowest closing level for the June contract this year. Natural gas prices also recoverd from negative territory to close pit trade at $2.39 per MMBtu for a 2.6% gain.
Defensive in nature, Utilities and Health Care scored gains of 0.2%, but neither was down dramatically at any point during the day. Telecom suffered a 0.2% loss after it had spent most of the session outperforming the other major sectors.
The turn in tone took the Volatility Index from above 20, which hasn't been eclipsed for almost a month, back to about 19 by the closing bell. The resulting increase for the VIX was less than 1%, although it had been up nearly 10% earlier in the day.
Volatility seemed to excite some traders. Share volume on the NYSE didn't break the 1 billion mark, but it did hit 900 million, which is above averages for the past few months.
The dollar advanced another 0.3% against a basket of major foreign currencies today. That puts it comfortably above its 50-day moving average, which was first crossed late last week, at a new three-week high.
Treasuries also attracted a solid bid, or at least enough to send the yield on the 10-year Note even closer to 1.80% for a new a three-month low before it eased off that mark. Results from an auction of 3-year Notes today resulted in a bid-to-cover ratio of 3.65, dollar demand of $116.8 billion, and an indirect bidder participation rate of 35.7%. For comparison, the prior auction drew a bid-to-cover of 3.36, dollar demand of $107.5 billion, and an indirect bidder rate of 39.9%, while an average of the last six auctions results in a bid-to-cover of 3.48, dollar demand of $111.3 billion, and an indirect bidder rate of 36.4%.
Advancing Sectors: Health Care +0.2%, Utilities +0.2%
Declining Sectors: Consumer Staples -0.1%, Telecom -0.2%, Industrials -0.3%, Energy -0.4%, Materials -0.5%, Tech -0.5%, Financials -0.7%, Consumer Discretionary -1.3%